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Myna bird eradication, Seychelles

May 2016. Paper on the eradication of myna birds in Seychelles.

Chris J Feare et al. (2016). Eradication of common mynas Acridotheres tristis from Denis Island, Seychelles. Pest Manag Sci


BACKGROUND: In Seychelles, the common myna has been shown to have a negative impact on endangered endemic birds on Denis Island, interfering with breeding attempts and attacking adult endemic birds at their nests. This stimulated an attempt to eradicate the island’s mynas.

RESULTS: The eradication was undertaken in three phases, overall killing 1186 mynas and lasting 5 years. Decoy trapping was the most effective method for catching mynas, but the last birds were shot. Decoy trapping was compromised by catches of non-target species. Data collection from killed birds indicated that trapping did not favour either sex, and that most breeding occurred during the wetter season, November to March.

CONCLUSIONS: Eradication of mynas from small tropical islands is feasible. The Denis Island eradication was prolonged by difficulties in management and staffing. Using volunteers, the cost of the eradication was similar to that of eradicating rodents from the island. In future eradication attempts in Seychelles, possible food stress during the drier season (May to September) might facilitate trapping at this time. Habitat management, especially the removal of short mown grass, could enhance eradication progress. Continued monitoring is needed to confirm eradication and detect any immigration, and also to record responses in the endemic birds.

Members spoke about the problem with mynas in New Zealand (Jungle myna), Fiji (Indian myna) and Samoa. A member sent a video which describes her work on trapping mynas/bulbuls in the west coast of Africa and the Pacific. See the following: